Where Would We Be?

Imagine a world without teachers. What would our world look like without classrooms, without schools, without the teachers our children adore?

This is the path Nova Scotia has found itself wandering along. Our teacher’s union has been in negotiations for over a year trying to bargain for better classroom conditions, better pay, and to save their long-service award – a bonus upon retirement for serving 25+ years. The union’s proposal would an cost an estimated $508 million. The bulk of that, $340 million, would be put towards a better working conditions. The province has countered with a $41 million proposal. That’s a difference of $467 million. I may have been born in the morning, but it wasn’t yesterday morning. I compare solving the the education problem with $41 million to buying a new car with the change you can find in your couch cushions.

After a year with no progress, after a year of the government saying things will change without changing anything, after a year of empty promises and no action teachers have taken a stand. They’re standing up for our kids, our children and their own, for a better place for themselves and for our most precious commodity. Our future. 9,300 teachers voted. An outstanding number of them, 96% to be precise, have voted in favor of a province wide strike. Teachers want to be heard. Teachers need to be heard. The government says they’re listening, but they’re not doing. The government says they’re already putting money into classrooms. However, it’s either so little it’s unnoticeable or it’s putting it in the wrong places.

When was the trust between the government and the classroom lost? When did those who are now removed from the classroom working in administration higher up lose their faith in teachers’ abilities and opinions? Does the government not realize how thin teachers are spread and understand their desire to simply teach again? As it stands, elementary teachers are required to test and track their student’s abilities in reading, writing and math. Report cards can take weeks to complete. Reading assessments for each student takes time away from teaching, not to mention time to evaluate them, score them, and assess their development level compared to how they tested previously. All this while teaching 25 other students.

Teachers work in the public sector and that seems to be the Premiere’s argument because he doesn’t want to treat employees within the public services differently. Aren’t teachers so much more? Teachers come in early and leave late. They take their work home with them. They spend time after school in clubs, sports, bands and countless other activities. Now teachers are taking a stand and demanding to be heard. A “work to rule” strike begins next Monday. This means all the extras are gone. Teachers are to enter school and leave school at the times depicted in the contract, 20 minutes before students arrive and 20 minutes after they leave. No clubs. No sports. No bands. No extra curricular activities. This saddens me because it means my youngest son misses his first performance in his first Christmas concert- there will be no Christmas concert. While I will miss it greatly, I completely understand it and fully support it.

I perceive this to be the next step of negotiations. Teachers have had to take a drastic measure to be heard by the government. However, this isn’t worst case scenario. There is one more step. A full shut down. A full strike that would close schools entirely. A world without teachers.

None of us would be where we are today without someone teaching us, without guiding us to enlightenment, without broadening our horizons and deepening our understanding. If teachers aren’t heard by their government soon, if action isn’t taken soon, a world without teachers will become a reality in Nova Scotia.

To read further please visit Teachers of Nova Scotia.

From left: Kate Ervine NS Parents for Teachers, Liette Doucet NS Teacher’s Union President, Stephen McNeil NS Premiere

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28 thoughts on “Where Would We Be?

    • Thank you! This is just the next step. Hopefully it will open some eyes that the teachers are serious about changes and we’ll see real results instead of just bandaid fixes. It’s not really about the teachers.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sorry to hear that you’re educational system is in a state of unrest. My kids aren’t really in the schooling system (here in Ontario) so I don’t know what our situation is like but I imagine that there are lots of things that the government could do to improve things for the next generation. I hope that you get the resolution that you want and need in a timely matter.

    Visiting from Eli’s 6 Words Post. Was that you that shot the kayaking video?

    Besos Sarah
    Journeys of The Zoo

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    • It is unfortunate. Kids aren’t getting the help and aid they need because the classrooms aren’t lacking. Hopefully this “work to rule” strike will open some government eyes before it gets worse. Thanks for visiting! And yea, that was me who shot the kayak video. That was the first. There’s another where I was about 6 feet from him.

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    • It is a shame. I have a suspicion that a work to rule won’t work with the government unless they start getting constant complaints from parents whose chilren are missing out. There are no sports and many seniors hope for athletic scholarships to help pay for univeristy. That won’t happen with the strike. Their offer of 10% was laughable., “I’ll sell you my car for a 1,000 bucks.” “Nah, willl you take 50$?”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Their responsibility is huge. It’s of those jobs (like cleaning) that no one notices until it’s not getting done. I’m finding “most” parents already understand this. It’s the higher ups. I’m not seeing good things coming from this as the government isn’t listening yet. Fingers crossed! It all starts Monday.

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  2. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week #49 | A Momma's View

  3. Teachers works so hard and long hours. They don’t get enough respect for what they do. I also want to be a teacher – but the pay is so so low! Even lower than an average Administrator! It is incredible! This really put people off to become a teacher. The government should list up!

    Thank you for sharing with us on #FabFridayPost

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  4. This makes me crazy Eric! How the whole entire world cant understand the value a teacher brings to the table is beyond me. How teachers don’t make superstar salaries and aren’t completely revered by the culture baffles my mind. Here in the states, Mr. Orange-elect put a woman in charge of education that does not believe in public education. Ughhh I’m so sorry Eric. You have my sincere and utmost respect. #FabFridayPost

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    • I was reading about Devos. That’s insane. Anti-public education. Anti science. Teachers don’t make superstar salaries because they’re technically government employees. The only ones in government who makes superstar salaries are the ones who pay themselves. Things here have just taken a turn for the worse. The government has just issued a lockout on the students. Students are not to go to school on Monday yet teachers are expected to be there. It’s the government’s attempt to turn parents against the teachers. So now I’m out of work until the lockout is lifted.

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